Fossil Wrist PDA Returning from Limbo (Updated)

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Back in late 2002, Fossil made headlines when it announced the Wrist PDA, a watch that was going to run a full version of the Palm OS (see picture below). This device even won a Best of Comdex award.

Unfortunately, Fossil ran into production problems that kept pushing back the release of this model until, in September 2003, Fossil announced the Wrist PDA was indefinitely delayed.

Fossil WRIST PDA However, that wasn’t the end of the story. In January of this year, a Fossil spokesperson told InfoWorld that his company hasn’t given up on the idea of a Wrist PDA, and was working on a new design.

The spokesperson wasn’t willing to give InfoWorld any details about the next generation of Wrist PDA, but he did reveal that it will still run a full version of the Palm OS and be more powerful that the original version, thus making it more competitive with regular handhelds. The original version would have run Palm OS 4.1 on a 33 MHz Motorola Dragonball VZ processor and have 2 MB of RAM.

Fossil had originally hoped to have the new Wrist PDA on the market by this summer, but obviously this didn’t happen. However, I4U is reporting that Fossil says that this device will be re-launched in January at CES 2005.

Update: A Fossil spokesperson has sent an email to Brighthand that says: “The information that you read from the I4U site was posted erroneously. The information has since been removed from I4U.”

Unfortunately, the company isn’t saying anything else on this issue, so it isn’t clear at this point if what Fossil told InfoWorld at the beginning of this year still holds true.

New Competition

Since the Wrist PDA was announced, new competition has come on the market. Several companies, including Fossil itself, are making watches with MSN Direct service, which means they are capable of displaying snippets of information they receive wirelessly.

If Fossil does re-launch the Wrist PDA, it will have to be able to compete with these devices.

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